Social Skills School Life

Comeback Kid by John Elway

By John Elway

John Elway, the winningest quarterback in NFL background, stocks his triumphs and tribulations with younger readers and encourages them to recollect that victory in any recreation is simply a comeback away.

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Then my strict third-grade teacher found a solution. I somehow thought being the first to finish school work was more important than getting the right answers. I’d race through my work and then goof off. Ms. Haynes met with my parents and devised a plan to settle me down. Since I loved sports, I took the newspaper’s sports section to school every day. When I finished my work, I’d read about sports, and that kept me out of trouble (most of the time). Even today, my kids call me “Newspaper Nose” because I can spend hours reading a newspaper.

We needed a 98-yard touchdown drive to tie. Considering our last two drives went for only 9 and 6 yards, the task seemed impossible. ” As we marched down the field, everyone kept their cool and did their jobs. I hit 5 of 8 passes for 78 yards and ran for 20 more. We forced overtime with a 5-yard TD pass with 39 seconds left. Our defense held, and then we drove 60 yards to set up a game-winning field goal. Performing under pressure—when the game is at stake—is what athletes dream of doing. Since then I’ve been involved in other memorable drives—a 75-yard heart-stopper the next year to beat Cleveland again in the AFC title game, and a 98-yard, 107-second drive with no timeouts and two fourth-down plays against Houston in 1992.

We had our share of upset victories, including this one over No. 1-ranked Washington. One of my dreams through high school was to play college football in the Pac-10 Conference. About 65 colleges were after me. I decided on Stanford University because of its quality education and tradition of fine quarterbacks. But a dilemma popped up when Dad was hired to coach San Jose State, just 20 miles from Stanford, during my senior year. I always wanted to play for Dad, but San Jose State played in a league less competitive than the Pac-10.

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